Islamabad June 12, 2020 – In
a major breakthrough vis-à-vis indigenous development of diagnostic kits for
the detection of COVID-19, National University of Sciences & Technology
(NUST) has received approval from the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan
(DRAP) over the successful lab trials of N-CovKit – a Coronavirus Testing Kit
developed by NUST for the diagnosis of COVID-19.
In his Tweet made on June 12,
2020, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Science & Technology,
also confirmed the approval of NUST-made kits by DRAP, adding, “this will bring
significant cost reduction of COVID tests,” in the country and will “save huge
import bill.” He also extended his felicitations to NUST leadership and both scientists,
saying that they had made the country proud by their outstanding contribution
to fight the pandemic through developing these testing kits.
NUST has successfully performed
lab trials of N-CovKit on as many as 330 blinded samples. These indigenously established assays are
robust, sensitive to the target, and would soon be available at a lower price
as compared to imported ones. The team comprises Associate Professor Dr Aneela
Javed and Assistant Professor Dr Ali Zohaib from NUST Atta-ur-Rahman School of
Applied Biosciences (ASAB), who have been working on the establishment of these
assays for diagnosis of the pandemic that has hit the country and the world at
large in biblical proportions.
The kits will soon be mass
produced by a selected leading pharmaceutical company, as soon as the company
is granted DRAP approval for commercial production.